Blog: Hawaii: Four Islands in Five Days

Hotels & Resorts

Hawaii is one of the best places on the globe for groups wanting to step out of the frantic pace of the business world and into a relaxing environment where employees can rejuvenate their energy and gain a fresh perspective on their work. So, on the surface, a whirlwind multi-island media trip involving five plane…

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Blogger Bash!

Industry Events

Last week I was lucky enough to be one of 150 California bloggers to attend a Mad Men themed social media cocktail party hosted by the Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau (AOCVCB) at the Anaheim Convention Center, Southern California’s largest convention center. And as a double whammy, we were also celebrating an anniversary….

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A Welcome Blog!


Hello. I’m Josef Aukee and I have just joined the Smart Meetings editorial team as the new managing editor. If that sounds like a confession—it is. I’m thrilled to have found a fine place to share my travel stories, ideas and experiences that began as long ago as those Brady Bunch-style driving journeys I did…

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Build a Better Blog

Technology News

?Blogging seems so old school these days, with so many people glued to their BlackBerrys and iPhones, typing out (or reading) their 140-character tweets. But while the promoters of Web 2.0 and social marketing keep blaring about the merits of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as the latest and greatest way to connect with your social…

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DoubleDutch CEO Lawrence Coburn’s Take on Vista and Cvent

AppsTechnologyTechnology News

DoubleDutch CEO Lawrence Coburn shares his thoughts about Cvent’s acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in a blog post. Vista’s pending acquisition of Cvent is an important milestone in the evolution of event technology, and the largest event technology transaction in history. It’s a clear bet by some very savvy investors – Vista Equity Partners –…

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Baltimore Making a Name as a Citywide Meetings Destination

Convention CentersMeeting PlanningTravelVenues

Pier Six Concert Pavilion at night during an event Visit Baltimore has high hopes for the summer tourist season, as it prepares for 28 citywides this year, after having broken the record last year with 30 citywides. Light City Baltimore kicked off the tourism boom this year, with more than 400,000 visitors flocking to the…

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Disney Adds Budget-Friendly Meetings Wi-Fi

DestinationsTechnology News

In a move designed to entice meeting planners, in June all Walt Disney convention resorts in the United States will begin offering budget-friendly, high-capacity Wi-Fi and hard-wired services for groups. Disney announced the new services at its Awaken Summer event in Orlando last week. The services, which will be available in all meeting rooms and…

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Disney Event Highlights New Attractions

DestinationsHotels & ResortsTravel

Tree of Life Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is opening a flurry of new attractions—including restaurants, shops and rides—that is significantly enhancing and broadening its already-enormous appeal. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where asking, “What’s new at Disney this year?” is much too huge of a question: A more appropriate one is “What’s new at…

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4 Key Ways to Boost Presentations

ProfessionalTips & Tools

Meetings industry professionals have an ever-growing number and variety of digital and other choices when making presentations to clients and stakeholders, but often make wrong choices because they don’t carefully consider the groups’ mindset and needs. Ranjith Kumaran, CEO of Hightail, makes four recommendations for delivering presentations in several contexts, including face to face, by email, phone, video…

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Alaska Airlines and Virgin America

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Announce $2.6 Billion Merger


An eventful week of bidding wars in the travel industry has come to an end, for now. Ending competition from JetBlue Airways Corp., Alaska Airlines and Virgin America announced their consolidation this morning amid Virgin’s accumulated debt and aircraft operating leases, valued at $4 billion. Alaska Air will acquire the airline for $2.6 billion, paying $57…

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